Cabbage is sometimes overlooked or stuffed to the back of the refrigerator which is a shame because cabbage is sweet, mild, and easy to prepare. If you don’t know where to start with cabbage, don’t overthink it. Just sauté it. Sautéd cabbage takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and it can be served as a side or toss in some cooked meat or smoked tofu and extra veggies and serve over rice or noodles. I came up with 5 easy flavor combinations, but you can probably come up with more. Peel off the outer leaves of your cabbage, grab some aromatics and get started.
I’m using a small green cabbage, ginger from Good Life Farm, onions, and garlic for a stir fry like flavor. I cut the cabbage into thin strips, if you’re in a rush you can cut it really fine and it will cook quicker. Try using shallots, leeks, butter, etc for the base.
Cook the aromatics down then add the cabbage, and any cooking liquid. Sauté, stirring occasionally until cabbage is soft 15 – 20 minutes depending on how soft you like it. Add chili sauce if you like!
1 small head of cabbage, core removed, thinly sliced
1 onion, cut into slabs, and separated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 – 4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 – 4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil like canola
pinch of salt
optional: sriracha or other chili sauce
In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 4 minutes until onions soften. Add 2 tablespoons of water plus 2 tablespoons of tamari and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the cabbage in batches, stirring to wilt. Cook cabbage for 15 – 20 minutes over medium low heat stirring occasionally until soft. Add more tamari or water if necessary. Taste and season with a pinch of salt and extra tamari if necessary.
- Bacon. Crisp 1/4 – 1/2 lb of sliced bacon and reserve. Sauté cabbage and a sliced onion in a tablespoon of bacon fat. Season with salt and lemon juice or cider vinegar. Stir crisped bacon into cooked cabbage and serve.
- Butter. Sauté a sliced shallot in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat. Add sliced cabbage and cook until softened. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Spicy. Mince as much garlic as you like, then heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper. Cook cabbage in garlic and crushed red pepper, then finish with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Savory. Cook one head of sliced cabbage in butter. Halfway through cooking add one tablespoon of whole caraway, cumin, or coriander seeds and 2 tablespoons of apple cider or red wine vinegar.
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